|NZXT Alpha Classical Series Mid-Tower Case|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cases|
|Written by Chip Terrell - Edited by Olin Coles|
|Tuesday, 06 May 2008|
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Detailed Interior Features
As we have seen, there are really no new interior design enhancements save the turned HD cage, an innovation that has been previously done before in similar case designs, and the rubber safety guards that protect the consumer's hands during component installation from the two most prominent sharp corners in the interior. The lack of new interior innovations again points to the fact that NZXT put all their proverbial "eggs' in one basket with this design, the exterior design basket to be exact.
A close up of the Alpha's front IO panel AC97 and HD audio wiring. Each are conveniently labeled to aid in installation. The manual for this case is actually worth having and will be very useful to first time builders as it clearly displays all the options for USB and audio installation as well as the usage of the toolless retention design for hard drives and disk drives.
Here we have a better look at the front IO panels LEDs, power, and reset Molex, all clearly identified for trouble free connection to the motherboard. This is all standard fair in any case worth your trouble.
The Alpha comes with this great little extra and NZXT deserves to take a bow for this one. The item above is a mini Piezo case speaker and has been included for those end users who don't have built in speaker capability on their motherboards. I have actually built a system for a friend's son and the ASUS motherboard he picked out had no sound until we plugged this super handy little mighty mite in. I almost never see one of these included with a high end case, (again, only the new Lian Li PC-P80 comes to mind) and my best guess as to why, is that the manufacturers don't think anyone purchasing a high-end enclosure would install a motherboard that didn't have built in sound!
This is a photo, of one of my biggest pet peeves. There should be a 120mm fan in the space between the hard drive cage and the front intake grill, but there isn't. Why? I see this all the time in model after model from just about every manufacturer out there. Why skimp, and cheapen the product with the omission of something as simple, yet necessary, as the system's primary intake fan? Hello. According to NZXT, the Alpha was designed for gaming enthusiasts, yet this case is simply not in operable condition without a front intake fan. How many first time builders have unnecessarily risked their system components unknowingly because of this particularly popular industry short cut? All the great little touches, and thoughtful details put into the presentation of the Alpha by NZXT to help separate the Alpha from the rest of the pack, and yet the omitted fan exhibits the typical lack of concern for the consumer's convenience that is exhibited by the rest of the industry, by saving $12.00 and presenting the Alpha in a less than fully functional condition!
Speak of the devil. Here is a close up of one of the two supplied fans that come with the Alpha, an NZXT blue LED fan mounted on the windowed panel. The fans are one speed low noise 1100RPM 120mm sleeve bearing fans and emit an average of 23dB of background noise. I personally think complaints about excessive noise from systems are a little overblown in general but in any event the 23 decibels of the Alpha's fans is well within the tolerable range for most people.